Program Description

India and Sri Lanka: Ancient Civilizations in 21st Century

Dates: Pre-departure orientation in United States: July 1-2, 2008
Program in India: July 4-30, 2008
Program in Sri Lanka: July 31 – August 9, 2008

Participants: U.S. educators and administrators from elementary, middle, and secondary schools, librarians, museum educators, and media/resource specialists

Program Content:

The purpose of the program is to provide the U.S. educators with a broader insight into culture and heritage of India and Sri Lanka, and how two countries are emerging in the 21st century. The participants will gain practical knowledge on the different cultural, social, religious and historical aspects of the study of India and Sri Lanka, which will help the U.S. educators in identifying reference materials and resources for their institutions. The impetus will be to help the visiting educators understand contemporary India and Sri Lanka against the backdrop of their history and culture.

The seminar participants will spend nearly four weeks in India and 10 days in Sri Lanka.


The program will consist of two phases, namely, academic study and field visits. The first three-four days academic program will be held in New Delhi using a multi-disciplinary approach involving formal lectures, interviews, and discussions with prominent scholars on different aspects of India. The field visit phase of about three weeks will take participants to Agra, Udaipur, Mumbai, Bangalore/Mysore, Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata and Varanasi tp expose participants to the geographical and regional diversities of the country. The program in each place will be designed to enrich participants’ knowledge by combining academic and cultural experiences. Visits to institutions, schools, colleges, NGOs and museums, and rural areas will be interspersed with demonstrations of Indian dance and music. Within the group program, time will also be allocated for participants to pursue their individual academic interests and work on their respective curriculum projects.

Sri Lanka: The Island that Defies Received Wisdom?

The program will consist of two phases, namely, academic study and field visits. The The objective of the program will be to define the multifaceted nature of the continent through the similarities, dissimilarities and contradictions displayed by its countries, with Sri Lanka as a case in point. The program will thereby dispel common stereotyping that tend to portray all South Asian countries with one “South Asian” image. The program will have two components; a seminar component conducted by leading academics, intellectuals and non-residents who will present a series of lecturers, discussions and group interviews that will highlight the seminar theme, and a field-tour component which will be tied to the issues and aspects that were discussed in the seminars.

The field tour will include visits to sites as well as opportunities for the participants to meet and interact with people and visit institutions. At the end of the field tour the participants will re-assemble with some of the academics who conducted the seminar to discuss, debate and re-cap issues that were presented to them against participant’s own observations/ studies that were made on the tour.

This info is directly from the Fulbright India website.